John Burroughs, Earthclergy

John Burroughs (1837-1921) emerged from his family’s religious pasturelands to send tendril, root and leaf under, over and through the artificial walls out into the wilds of Nature.  Last evening I bumped into John again on the trail into slumberland, by way of the following quote found in Douglas Brinkley’s book on Burroughs’ friend Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Warrior:

“If we do not go to church so much as did our [parents], we go to the woods much more, and are much more inclined to make a temple of them than they were.”

John Burroughs, “The Gospel of Nature,” in Time and Change (1912)


About Chris Highland

Writer, teacher, freethinker, humanist celebrant, former minister and interfaith chaplain View all posts by Chris Highland

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